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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-05-28||Route: South Slope
Info: Left at 6am from parking lot at 11,250. 3hrs to summit. Visibility hardly none on top. Needed only micro spikes because snow was crested. Snow shoes would be fine, some post holing on way down as it warmed. Saw people skiing down. Still lots of snow on Sherman. Great hike, would have been perfect if sky was clearer.
|2016-05-23||Route: South Slope
Info: Unless you can pass over the high snow, the road stops you about 1.5 miles from the old mine. We reached the peak in about 3 hours and snowshoed the entire way. You'll want a flotation device as there is a lot of snow on Sherman. The summit was crazy windy and we glissaded the entire way down. Start early so the snow is hard and packed as it began to melt and become slushy and difficult to descend around 10am. Beautiful climb.
|2016-05-21||Route: South Slope
Info: Parked about .5+ miles from the mine, unable to skin the whole road up due to large intermittent dirt patches. Saw a jeep with chains digging out on small incline past mine, impressed they got that far but would not recommend this. Started at 6 am and reached the summit at 10 am. Weather was blue skies with some non-threatening clouds which helped keep the snow hard for the majority of the morning. Saw evidence of several R1 and R2 avalanches on steeper angles and gullies. Many skiers, snowshoers and hikers out and we saw several hikers take off snowshoes from time to time as the snow was quite hard through 9:30am or so. Forecast said winds up to 19 mph at summit but we did not experience this. Fantastic snow on ski down, did see some hikers postholing. Snow on road was slush by our return to the car but otherwise great conditions on the mountain.
|2016-05-19||Route: South Slope
Info: Solo climb on Sherman today. Did not see another person all day. Got to 11,000' on Four Mile Creek Road - I wouldn't advise anybody to go any farther as the road is still not plowed past this point. On this day there were 3-5 fresh inches of soft snow at 11,000' so it would have been a real bad idea to try to go any farther. Started hiking at 5AM sharp. Due to the fresh snow, I was in snowshoes the entire ascent. The road was 90% snow covered, snowshoes were not absolutely essential but they made my life much easier. After leaving the road at 12,000', snowshoes were absolutely essential to due to the soft new snow. A cool thing about this route is you are in the shadow of White Ridge for a long time as the sun is rising - I wasn't exposed to the sun until 8:15, which of course meant the route I was climbing was also in the shade, which helped to keep me from post-holing - I only had the sporadic post hole all day. The snow started softening immediately once hit by the sun (beautiful day out), but I was high enough by that point it wasn't a big deal. I reached the summit at 9:30 for a 4.5 hour ascent. Saw some potentially nasty clouds coming from the west (they were concealed the whole hike), so I didn't hang out long. Snowboarded down, got some awesome turns in from the summit to the road. Added bonus: thanks to the fresh snow, I was able to snowboard down almost the entire road as well! Got from the summit back to my car at 11,000' in under an hour. Overall great day. I recommend starting no later than 5, and would suggest even earlier. (Or just be faster than me) The snow softened up very quickly and I was in some real soup on my snowboard on the descent.
|2016-05-14||Route: White Ridge Saddle
Info: From the winter closure the road is still mostly snow covered. It was firm in the morning but soft on the return. Left the road near the summer trailhead and headed for the White Ridge Saddle. There are several possible lines to same place. I was on snowshoes but the majority were on skis or split boards. This route avoids the cornice on the Sheridan saddle. It also avoids the South West Ridge. One party I spoke to told me the SW Ridge is still holding a lot a snow and they found it sketchy enough to bail off the side. Sherman is still holding a lot snow!
|2016-05-05||Route: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek
Info: Solo ski. Parked 9 miles from US285 and one car was there at 7AM. Booted on the road to the house at car tour site 10. From there on, skinned on edge able snow. No slipping on side hills. For the last 800 feet, was able to kick in a skin track and booted about 300 feet without post holing. Skied down at 1030 with nice corn. Where I parked, I had to break out avalanche shovel to help a toyota tundra out of the snow. We spent 15 minutes and we finally got on the bumper, which did the trick with the weight. I weight 115 lbs. ha ha.
|2016-04-23||Route: South Slope
Info: Jake, Rick and I skied this peak and conditions were tough. Windblown, crusty, and not ideal. The snow just didn't soften. Also, because no one had gone further up the road yet, we parked about 1 mile from the normal spring TH. This of course added some time on the way in and out. On the way back to the vehicle, a truck was attempting to get farther up the road but turned around.
|2016-04-02||Route: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek
Info: We were able to drive to nearly 11k on the road today before the snow. We approached with the intent to take the SW Ridge route vs. South Slopes route, but the saddle was heavily corniced and there was recent avy debris in the area. We should have cut across to the south slopes route, but opted to go farther up the basin, then contour back towards the SW ridge where we could see safe rocky patches in the snow slope. We finished via the normal SW ridge route, one of us with spikes and one with crampons. We descended down the south slopes route and it was much better. Advise ascending that way for a few more weeks yet.
|2016-03-05||Route: South Slope
Info: Road is totally clear almost up to the mine (you'll have to walk an extra .5 miles each way). I strongly recommend stopping at the snow; it has been packed a little but two people got stuck today, and there's not room to turn around when leaving. Save yourself the tow. The trail is on/off snow the entire way, but where there's snow it is in mostly great shape. Nice and hard, hardly any post-holing until about noon. The approach is largely snow free until you hit the wall, still plenty on the south slopes. There were about 20 people on the mountain today and I think everybody took a different path up the wall, so there are a few trails to follow. I originally meant to take the south slope, but missed the turn and ended up climbing to the left up the 13er sitting just south then coming across. Not a bright way to go. The snow near the summit is mostly gone until you hit the last 1/2 mile, which is well covered. The false slope 1/4 mile SW is built up a little higher than the actual peak, so keep going and don't be fooled. I strongly recommend taking microspikes at a minimum. I managed to get by with mine the entire way, with a little steadying from my ice axe. Snowshoes are unnecessary, crampons would be helpful for people who are unsure on steep snow. There's not much point in bringing skis, as the snow cuts off about 500' from the summit and becomes patchy and full of grass and rubble. -To all you guys and gals who made it to the top today, my trip report has been posted. If you want any of the pictures in higher quality let me know.
|2016-02-27||Route: South Slope
Info: Summited Mount Sherman today via the South Slope. CR18 is totally clear until 9mi in (which just happens to be where you want to stop to get your 3000' gain for the day) after which point it is basically totally snow covered until 11,600'. Just past the 9mi mark there is a stretch of deep (at least 1'-1.5') soft snow, and signs that a few people have gotten stuck there. Past that the snow pack is mostly sun crusted and firm, but there's plenty of places where you'd sink. I personally wouldn't try to drive further unless you were very confident in your vehicle, skills, and had been in similar situations. From 11,600' until the drainage the road is effectively totally clear, with a handful of spots totally covered in snow. Sherman and the surrounding slopes look fairly bare for this time of year. Almost all the snow pack near the route is heavily sun crusted and very firm, though there are certainly places you'll post hole if you wander around enough. The current route splits at the drainage. The route everyone except for me (I was first out) took today went up the drainage (didn't bypass it like the route description here suggests). The route I took did attempt to bypass the lower part of the drainage and followed some existing tracks, but I wound up way too far west. I sort of saw this happening but by the time I was sure it didn't make sense to do anything but forge ahead. It wasn't really a problem except that it made for a small amount of elevation loss and gain and put me on generally less gentle terrain. Ultimately my route met up with the south slope. I followed the other route down. The wind was pretty brutal today. 10-15mph winds in your face the whole way, which wasn't too bad, just kind of draining. But the last 500' vertical or so dished out 40-45mph sustained winds. I couldn't feel my hands for a bit there. I used microspikes the whole way and even though I generally like snowshoes I think at this point the snowpack just doesn't call for it. There were a number of other people on the mountain today, mainly snowboarders. Two of them and another solo hiker passed me just before I reached the summit, so I guess I was the slow one today. 9.1mi RT ~7h. ~5h15m up, ~1h45m down.
|2016-02-21||Route: South Slope
Info: The recent snow from last week helped with the road approach ( you can skin up the whole way up the road without stepping on gravel - except one 10ft section.) The gully that leads up to the White Ridge - Sherman Saddle has very hard snow, and skins do not grab anymore (had to take skis off and put on crampons for the last 200ft to saddle). Great ski down with nice hard snow on top, but down lower the snow was getting quite soft ( transitioning from hard to soft unexpectedly). Road can be driven with a 2 wheel drive to the Old Leviac road (mile below the old Leviac mine). Have fun! Can not upload pictures from my phone, I will do so tomorrow. If I forget just send me a message.
|2016-02-11||Route: South Slope
Info: The route is in excellent condition, albeit a little icy. I parked at 10,900 feet with a good high clearance 4x4. A corolla also made it, although I saw a Prius and Audi A4 get stuck on the road a day ago. There is good coverage on the road, although you have to get creative sometimes. The road dries up higher up, but you can bypass it in the willows on the right. The snow is very hard and supportive. I ascended random gullies to the summit, then skied from the summit straight down a couloir to the road. Very safe, good conditions. If you plan to ski, get ready for some ice... Maybe bring a whippet, and ski crampons were really nice to have. If you plan to hike it, crampons would make your world a whole lot better. I managed the ascent and descent with 2.5 hours and .5 hours respectively.
|2016-02-06||Route: South Slope
Info: Even with all the snow the last week, it was very blown. MicroSpikes/snowshoes recommended. The snow was either solid from wind or with a crust and sugar underneath. Postholing was minimum w/out snowshoes, but they did make it easier in several spots. 10 of us hiked in on Saturday, but we didn‘t leave much of a trench, the snow was that packed from the wind. Several of our tracks were gone by the time we came down. The upper portions of the road were nearly bare, while the lower held snow. We parked below Leavick, close to the Old Leavick Road.
|2016-01-23||Route: South Slope
Info: Not very different from last week‘s reports. See my TH update for road status. Above where we parked, shallow soft snow to about tree line. From tree line to the cut off for the winter route, the road was mostly dry with a few intervening drifts. We snowshoed up the road to tree line in the morning, then only needed boots for the stretch up to the cut off. Coming down, w used boots for the whole road without too much anguish. Once in the drainage and on up, highly variable snow. Traction is a must. Unless you like a great deal of thigh to hip deep post holes, flotation is a must. We used snowshoes. The snow alternated between a great hard crust and miserable loose pack that can‘t support my pinky toe. Snowshoes made the ascent bearable, with plenty of slipping and sinking on the steep parts, even with snowshoes. Near the top, we chose a brutally direct steep line up. This was not a good choice. Go to the climbers right best the saddle before powering up to the summit ridge. No wind to speak of on the summit today. Descending was a mix up solid glissades, plunge stepping, and postholing because I was too lazy to put my snowshoes back on. Went quickly, and without any surprises. Overall, great day. Just bring flotation and be ready for some soft snow.
|2016-01-18||Route: Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek
Info: Road to the TH: The highest we could drive was about a mile below the old mine building described in the trailhead guide, which makes for a slightly longer day than described in the official route description. With a very high clearance vehicle with 4WD and snow tires it may be possible to get a little higher, but not much. Trail: The road up the valley is fairly deep in snow for the first ~2 miles; we found snowshoes to be very useful. However, when we got to the Forest Service gate, we stashed the snowshoes and boot hiked the rest of the way with very little post-holing as the road is clear most of the way (Photo #1). Ridge and Peak: The ridge was extremely windy, with significant amounts of blowing snow that made the traverse along the ridge pretty hairy. On the upside, the wind seems to be keeping the ridge fairly snow free, so footing isn‘t a big problem.
|2016-01-18||Route: South Slope
Info: Just a a couple of pictures to go along with Andrew‘s (aholle8 conditions report. It is possible to skin/ski an almost continuous line from car to summit and back. We took off our skies for a short section along the road and then just before accessing the ridge (seen at the center of the first picture). The snow here was pretty thin and hard-packed. We didn‘t see much evidence of someone else having been there the day before, and winds were really picking up on our descent. Fortunately for us, we never found any of that waist-deep snow he was referring to.
|2016-01-17||Route: South Slope
Info: Caution with the south gully direct right now, it is loaded with waist deep snow. I was up there today and stayed close to the left side near the rocks which was pretty quick going. Made it to about 13.5-13.8 (waypoint 130 of 149), goggles froze up from the moisture..both pair... so I decided it was time to turn around. It was a complete whiteout the whole way up/down so I couldn‘t get any good looks at the top section of the gully, but I‘d recommend staying to the left of the gully near the rocks to avoid any issues with potential slides. The slow was heavy/wet up higher, soft/powdery on the road. Road is plowed to the straight section with trees on your left, about a mile below Leavick. About 6-12 inches of snow on the road from parking to the turn-off, snowshoes/skins required on ascent. There is a section or 2 closer to the turn off that is wind blown and void of snow. The trench I put in on the way up was gone by the time I came down (10am to 330pm), so don‘t expect it to be there, sorry folks. Also be careful with the road while driving, there is a big patch of ice (you can drive over it, but use caution) about 1/2 mile before the parking zone. No pictures today, just visualize a lot of white and that was the view.
|2016-01-03||Route: South Slope
Info: Had only this weekend free to fit this in to our schedules. Watched weather for prior 2 weeks & lucked out in major way. Highs of 20s on summit with essentially no wind. Camped night of 1/2 near 12.5K feet. Windy that night, wind chill -13 but wind stopped by 8AM. Couple other groups coming down on our way up on 1/2. Only one other lone hiker on 1/3. We used snow shoes almost entire way, but boots only on way down road on way back (had melted off a lot from 1/2 --> 1/3). Not much post holing with flotation. Total round trip was ~8 miles, able to park 0.75-1 mile from Leavick Site.
|2016-01-03||Route: South Slope
Info: A serious lack of snow for skiing but easy snowshoe/boot to summit. Cold early and then sunny cold temps. The road is okay to winter closure and then somebody had to tear it up, so it is rough snow up to the first mine building. After that the road is blown clear for the most part. Mostly rock to the south side of Sherman. The snotel report I looked at before going had said 24" but maybe in the trees not on the slopes or road. Snow on the saddle.
|2015-12-06||Route: West Slopes from Iowa Gulch
Info: Road to the trail head required chains. Deep snow for the first half mile - snowshoes made this doable. Left the snowshoes next to the trail after about 3/4 of a mile and headed up to the summit. No snow until you hit the ridge, then it was pretty packed down - micro spikes would be helpful. The summit had windblown snow but was manageable. Very windy conditions on the summit.